amy merrickliving in

living in: in the mood for love

by amym

In the Mood for Love has the capacity to hold me spellbound for it’s entire length. I kept forgetting to pause and take screen grabs for the images I wanted to include in the column because I was so entranced. Wong Kar-wai’s sweeping and reserved platonic romance tells the tale of a pair of neighbors in who discover their spouses are having an affair in 1962 Hong Kong.

Schumacher’s Chiang Mai Dragon fabric, beaded clutch $67, birdcage hanging lamp $98, set of 2 vintage jadite cups and saucers $37, Mah Jong set $58, talcum powder $2.50, wooden comb $3.50, engine barstool $89, bonox clock $18.

Sometimes when I do this posts for lesser known movies, I get really worried. I want them to be great so you’ll rent it and (hopefully) love it as much as I do. Normally, I’ll just pull a few cute things from the internet and write up a couple of sentences and hope for the best. This time is different. I am going to shamefully beg you to watch this movie. On my knees, beg. Seriously beg. Get thee to thine house of DVD rental and watch right now, beg. It’s sexy, reserved and utterly sublime. You won’t be sorry.* –amy m.

*and if you are, I’ll love you anyways.

three panel screen $129, fluted pendant lamp $248, crane desk lamp $99, loose tea tins $2.25+, classic clock $55, set of two noodle bowls and chopsticks $20, acacia mini bar $399, vintage embroidered slippers $24.50, lunch box set of 3 $85.

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  • this is one of my favorite movies of aLL time.

    love loove tony leung too..he never seems to age either..lust, caution is also another one of my favorites.by ang lee.

    great job on the furniture picks!

  • Thanks for the great recommendation! I have been meaning to watch this film for ages as it just looks gorgeous! Thanks for the reminder!

  • you convinced me… just added this to my netflix queue! i especially like the mini-bar. i’m restoring my current bar to it’s original use as a console record player, so i need a new place to stash barware.

  • This is up in my top three favourite films EVER. It is a visual feast; every single frame is a little masterpiece. The colours, the score, the whole feel of it: I’ve watched it half a dozen times and never tired of it.

  • My husband and I have been absolutely entranced by this movie for several years and so has a friend of ours who borrowed (and kept) my copy a couple years ago! The visual details in this movie are phenomenal and so is the soundtrack.

    Thanks for the tips on incorporating the feel of the movie into our homes…funny, I already had some of the items you picked out on my wish list:)

  • I watched this movie at my husband’s insistence and I was completely overwhelmed by its unbelievable beauty (and by my husband’s incredibly good taste). It’s so great to see it getting some attention. Everyone definitely should see this movie!!

  • This movie is such a jewel – my now-husband lent me his copy when our more-than-friends-relationship was just a glint in his eye…needless to say, it made a HUGE impact!

  • already added to my queue. it looks beautiful!
    thanks for the movie suggestions — i always love a good recommendation, and reading over the comments, i’m sure this one is a winner.

  • you rock my world! I am so glad you did ‘living in’ for this movie. during a film class, i swear i must have watched this movie for days on end (my poor husband) just to pick up on all the subtleties.

  • Absolutely beautiful. This is one of my favorite movies. I think I’d have picked different screenshots, though. It’s so hard—it’s all so gorgeous.

  • Great job on researching the items in the movie!!! The main character’s wardrobe was perfectly tailored, beautifully.

    I might have to get Tiffin lunch box set… If anyone bought the Tiffin set, I’d like feedback on how to heat food or how long will it hold heat.

  • I love love love the “living in” section of design*sponge- one of my most favorite sections of this blog! Whenever I watch a movie now I’ve started picking out things in the set that I would play off of and choose to focus on if I were to write a “living in” section of it. And I will most definitely rent this movie! So thank you for providing this and keep them coming!

  • Wow… very eerie- I’ve never seen this movie, but it looks exactly the way I’ve decorated my house.

  • just yesterday my friend who i just showed this movie to for the first time online streamed on Netflix (even easier to see) was saying how beautiful the cinematography and art direction is, how he’d never seen such colors and look before.

  • I just put it my Netflix queue, too! They are going to wonder what’s up with the uptick in Mood for Love rentals! Thanks for the tip.

  • Oh my, this has been on my instant queu for months, but for some reason or another I haven’t watched it yet. Now I must! Thank you!

  • I love these living in posts, and I was wondering if there is a way to access them easily? I don’t see a link on the sidebar, but I am a bit blind about those sort of things…

    • hi dorothy!

      right now they live in the “categories” section of d*s, but when we launch the re-design in may/june they will be easy to find by either the column name or the author name. we added a chunk of new writers/columns this year and sort of outgrew the current layout, so we’re working quickly now to fix that. until then, here’s the link to amy’s columns:



  • Wow, Amy! This is a gorgeous post.
    I’d like to request that you do a ‘living in’ post about ‘E.T.’ I’ve always been fascinated by the things in that movie. It’s not exactly breathtaking, but I bet it would be interesting.

  • Add me to the list of the convinced. This is a gorgeous collection of objects… I’m looking forward to similarly gorgeous cinematic funtime :-)
    PS, will a higher power come down & smite me if I actually spend $37 on those teacups?

  • This is such a beautiful movie! Thanks for posting this great write-up… I’ve been wanting the amazing linoleum floor in that hallway for awhile!

  • love this. i’ve been a long-time wong kar- wai fan, this film being my initial introduction to his work. stirring, soulful, gorgeous. great choice. and great selections. you nailed it.

  • In case all the previous 30+ comments weren’t convincing enough, here’s another:

    You’ve hit spot on with this one! :)

  • I love jadeite! You can definitely get a nice cup/saucer set for much less than that, though.

    I will have to check out the movie, as the whole post is lovely.

  • I remember the way the moved,how she moved and the camera was like dancing around her. It was awesome.

  • Thank you so much for highlighting this film! ItMfL single-handedly convinced my husband and I to buy a mah jong set – they make the game so glamorous.

  • Wouldn’t it be great to rent the film and decorate your house a bit like the movie?? You’ve got me intrigued, I’m headed over to my netflix site next!

  • apart from the settings, what about the clothes? that’s what really won me over–I understand the tailor for her cheongsam dresses went to great lengths to create the right period look…sooo gorgeous!

  • oh my god, can you please do another post about maggie cheung’s WARDROBE in this movie? I have coveted every dress she wore for ages. great find!

  • Love this movie! It’s one of my husband’s top 3 of all time. I love the fact that they go and buy noodles in those sweet thermos looking things. You collect of finds is really great. I love the clock!

  • This is the best column so far–I bought some jadeite cups a long time ago because of this film, so I can realte to wanting to live in it.

  • Glad everyone seems to already love this movie!

    A note on the clothes- I tried for hours and hours to find beautiful dresses to include. They are almost impossible to find and the few i did, the photo quality was so poor i couldn’t include them.

    No one makes really beautiful dresses like that and I didn’t want to include something cheap and touristy looking!


  • One, if not possibly, the film of my life. I watch it at least once a year. I am always discovering new things, new colour combinations, new moods, new feelings. It is a great inspiration. I have seen ALL his films, and none is as powerful as this one.

  • OMG, this is the look of my new apartment and I didn’t even put two and two together! Now I must re-watch because I haven’t finished everything and could use that last bit of inspiration!

  • One of the first movies I saw in an arthouse theatre, I left gasping at the rich depth of color in every scene, the decadent lighting, the spare styling, and of course, the greatly sad love story! I think I need to OWN this movie. Thanks for showcasing it!

  • thanks for the tip on the movie — I love movies like this and will check it out! I’m already getting my big bowl of popcorn ready!

  • this is one of my favorite films. i waited and waited for 2046 (the supposed sequel) and was so disappointed.

  • fantastic movie (i haven’t seen it in years but i loved it when it first came out!) and fantastic suggestions!

  • I love this film. I love the director. I love Leung Chiu Wai. I love this film so much that I bought those cups in Shanghai. Hehehe.

  • this is the most beautiful movie, one of my favourite all times. Coming from a Hong Kong background, it brings a sense of strong nostalgia for me. It is most awesome in lighting and feel. Love all the Wong Kar Wei films! It reminds me of what my grandma wore in the 60s and also my mum.

  • these “living in” segments make me so happy! i really enjoy them, i hope you continue to post these. sometimes the scenery, the feel of a movie, can be a character in itself.

  • I love love love this film — one of my favorites! All of Wong Kar Wai’s films are visually stunning but this one just took my breath away. I just watched it again last week and have recommended it twice on my blog. Love these posts:)

  • Amy, you are reading my mind. I saw the movie two weeks ago for the first time and thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if it was featured on Living In.” It is sexy and subtle and beautiful. Thanks for the post and please keep ’em coming!

  • I love this movie, but you should also check out Wong Kar Wai’s classic “Days of Being Wild”. Same cast with more stars, but grittier version of Hong Kong.

  • Thank you for reminding me to watch this movie again. I loved it the first time I saw it and developing a thing for that actor. Yum. I can’t remember what else I’ve seen him in?

  • Coincidentally, NPR used the song “In the Mood for Love” as a transition after a story today. Weird!

  • AHHH Love Love this film. and you did a fantastic job with this post. Makes me want to put the film on right now. I liked 2046, a lot of ppl were disappointed, but I still liked it but maybe a little less. I also watched his American film a couple of years ago the one with Norah Jones..uuummm….My Blueberry Nights..I think thats it…well it was good, but nothing like IITMFL:)

  • I just started reading your blog and really like it – the items you chose in this post are fantastic! Of course it helps that I LOVE this movie too! All of the dresses Maggie Cheung wears are so beautiful and Tony Leung is amazing actor.

  • This is one of my favorite movies — great job on the items! Must have, must have, must have. Plus love.

  • Again, Anotehr movie I love, not only the story but the setting, clothing, lighting, photography, it is a master pieces. Well chosen things to go with it.

  • I love this movie. I actually gasped once when th e camera panned around them at a restaurant because of her dress. And the way she walked to get those noodles every night. Such a sweet yet sad or sad yet sweet story. Thank you for urging others to see it. And thanks to my friend Robin for sending me your link.

  • One of my favorite movies. Such an incredible wealth of detail in every shot, all of it working so perfectly to underscore the emotional timbre. (Stills from the film make great desktop wallpaper. Swoony!)

  • I love Wong Kar-wai, and this is a great film. You picked perhaps his most mainstream release, too, which most people will probably be familiar with. If anyone hasn’t seen it, it’s so worth watching and shouldn’t be too hard to rent!

  • Each and every Wong Kar Wai is a Must! I am glad that his name appears on a popular blog like yours.

  • its a gorgeous film.. I had an opportunity to visit and lived abroad in Hong-Kong for many years. Everytime after a wan char wai movie, I would walk out on to the streets in HK and feel and look at it more romantically then ever, even in midst of the kaos..He’s an amazing film maker..

  • Lovely! Your posts always make me want to put the movie in my netflix queue. Seriously!

  • I remember this movie from my film class in college…it’s a wonderful movie…I especially loved the collages for this one…I’ll be sure to watch it again. Thanks for the inspiration…

  • I’ve been waiting for this post!! This is one of my all time favorite movies and my absolute favorite purely visually. Thanks for this!

  • Great representation of the movie, which I love. I was totally skeptical when my boyfriend told me we were watching another foreign film – but visually and emotionally a film gem. I agree – get on the Netflix or video store if you haven’t seen this!

  • Great choice! Could you please please please do Amelie soon? And A Very Long Engagement? Those are my favorite style movies. Thanks!

  • I love lesser-known film recommendations!! This little gem is available on my Netflix instant queue! Hooray!

  • this is an incredible movie!!!! so many others have already professed their love above, but i just had to add to the spirit!

    thanks so much. i wish i could dress like her every day!

  • i absolutely love this film, however it’s sequel, 2046 is in my opinion even more beautiful. So if you have not seen that – go get it!!! thanks for a great post :)

  • I saw this movie at the theater when it came out mostly due to an interview with the director. He said that the city was changing daily and he wanted to capture as much as he could before it disappeared. I understand. I was enchanted. My favorite scene is when the businessman comes home from his trip with a ‘new’ rice cooker, everyone in the audience cracked up.

  • This is one of my favorite movies. EVER.
    I love every scene. I love her dresses. I love the soundtrack. And maybe, above all, I love how the things that they never said make me feel.
    I have seen it a million times. A real good choice, Amy. Thanks!

  • I love this posts!

    By the wya, if nayone’s listening, I’m desperately looking for a sign that appears in Woody allen’s Manhattan mistery Murder behind his bed. I’ts a Soho sign with chinese characters.
    My email is puricaja7 (a) gmail.com
    Thanks XO

  • When I stumbled across this post, I immediately thought that if I were going to write one of these, it would have to be for Out of Africa. So of course I had to scroll back through all of them, to see that it was your first one ever. Now that I’m convinced that we’re soul mates, I’ll just sit back and wait for you do do your Living In post on The Razor’s Edge.
    Thanks a ton, Elizabeth

  • I love love love this movie! One of my fave by Wong Kar-Wei!! Thank you so much for the fabulous inspiration!

  • Wong Kar Wai and Christopher Doyle make such beautiful movies together, and this one is no exception! Even with little action or dialogue, this movie pulls you and won’t let go. And thank goodness, we need more movies like this!

  • Hey, I was just listening to the theme tune today!!
    I too love this film, so seductive and sensual. Check out “My Blueberry Nights” all so good :)
    Please do “I capture the Castle” one of these days. Thanks.

  • thank you, thank you, thank you for doing a “living in” post on this film. I’ve watched it numerous times and love every little thing about it. My other Wong Kar-Wai fave is “Chungking Express.”

  • I am SO glad you did this movie for a “living in” post. I LOVE this movie! 2046 is also just as visually amazing!

    I’d love to see a “Living in” post on “The Devil’s Backbone”. The elements of that movie are superb and the color choices that they stuck with were fantastic!

  • Amy, I just want to say having see ing your post (which I always love) on this movie , I put it on my film list and I finally got to see it. And I loved it! So thank you for introducing it to me!

  • Hey Amy, I just came across your blog. Yes this movie was produced quite a few years ago and is absolutely beautiful. I live in Hong Kong and walked into a vintage shop one day and it happened to be the one that lent things to Wong Kar Wai for props for the movie. I fell in love with a lamp – turns out it was the one in Tony Leung’s bedroom. I’ll email you a screen shot and one from my home if you like. It’s a beautiful double headed gooseneck lamp from the 60s. I’m so happy to see that there are so many fans out there, outside of Hong Kong.

  • hi amy! just want to thank you for the recommendation, i watched it because of your post, and it was packed with style! love it! keep up the great blogs!

  • Amy, I promise to rent this , or find it on Netflicks, It sounds very intriguing. I love this feature because I get so many great suggestions that I haven’t heard of before, and I love to see you create Living In’s of the ones that I love as well. I found this old link and I am glad that I did.